Road Trip: Central California

by Michael Satterfield

I was in need of a getaway, life has been hectic and it was time to escape, plus I had a story to shoot up in Bakersfield about the Padre Hotel. I am driving the new Ford Fiesta, the perfect sized car for a solo road trip, with a big trunk and good gas mileage for that long haul up the I5.

The car was new with just 10 miles on the odometer, I had no real schedule but just needed to be in Bakersfield by that afternoon so I could check into the Padre Hotel. I had also arranged to meet with a few local models to photograph for's fashion section. 

Central Valley crops

 Taking the backroads is always more fun so I snaked my way along highway 138 towards Palmdale then over to 58 and into the city of Bakersfield. I have never really stopped in Bakersfield on my many trips to and from Northern, California. The arts district of which the Padre is at the heart of was surprisingly nice bustling with small restaurants and shops.

Padre Hotel, Bakersfield
Room 801
The hotel itself was amazing, originally built in the late 20's it was renovated with a cool retro vibe. The well appointed room on the 8th floor gave me a good view of the city and was a welcome retreat after the long drive.

Model Brooke Dunstan
I connected with Brooke and her boyfriend for a quick photo shoot around the historic downtown, once they left I spent the rest of the afternoon taking photos of the hotel and arts district before heading to a local noodle restaurant. 

Model Blanca Caevero
The next morning I met with Blanca, another local model who was also a history major at BSU. We talked history and shot a set of photos which you can see HERE. After the shoot I checked out and made my way towards Fresno by way of Visalia. 

B17 in Tulare, California
Along the way just off the highway in Tulare is a B17 Flying Fortress and a F4 Phantom, both on display near the old Tulare Field air strip. When you see a B17 you can almost walk right up to, you pull over and check it out. 

So far the Fiesta was doing well, I hadn't even used half a tank of gas yet and it was super comfortable, however, just give yourself space if you are planning on merging into faster moving traffic as it's not a drag racer by any means. There wasn't much to see in Fresno so I decided to push out towards the coast and stay the night in the winery town of Paso Robles.

Old Farm truck now used to hold up a billboard advertising Hearst Castle 
Paso Robles is a town known for it's wine, rodeo, and California cowboy culture. It is also a just about 30 miles from the ocean making it an amazing place to relax. I went on my Priceline app when I got to town and found a good rate at the local Best Western.  

Porsche 944, parked in Paso Robles
Morro Rock, Morro Bay, California
 I made my way from Paso Robles over to Morro Bay, a small seaside community 200 miles north of Los Angeles. It was cool and overcast but there was still a number of tourists crowding the little shops and restaurants. I spent a few hours here taking pictures and watching the fishing boats come and go before jumping back on the 101 and back to congested cesspool that is Los Angeles.

Fiat 500, Morro Bay, California
Datsun Pickup, Morro Bay, California
This Zombie fighting Corvette had a fake machine gun mounted on the roof. 

MOPAR power on the beach at Morro Bay.